May 20, 2022
THE MODERATOR: You have one of the most intriguing first-round matches against Lorenzo Musetti. How do you see that one?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Lorenzo is a very good player on this surface. I have played him before. I think he's someone that can bring out on the court some good potential and has been, has shown in the past that he's capable of playing good tennis.
I'm obviously very happy to be playing these courts again. I know this first-round match is going to really bring the best out of me, at least I will try. It's going to be the battle of two one-handed backhand players, and I think a pretty interesting match for most spectators to watch on this first round.
THE MODERATOR: Questions?
Q. Nicola was just saying your first-round opponent there. When a draw comes out at any tournament, how do you learn about it? How do you get told who you're playing and how much do you look at the draw? Do you even look further ahead in the draw to see what might happen?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Last time I did that was in Monte-Carlo, because I was part of the draw. That is the last time that I saw the draw. I don't really look at a draw.
I know my first-round opponent, and that's about it.
Q. From 2017 and onwards, you're literally each year one step closer to the title. Do you think that this year -- I mean, except for the first match -- do you think it will be your year, if you manage to move on?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I have shown good tennis here. I have shown good tennis in the last couple of tournaments. I didn't really show my best tennis in the final few days ago.
But honestly, I don't know, because every year has something different to offer. Depends on a lot of things. Depends on the weather. Depends on who I'm faced with and what my condition is, as well.
I don't look far into the tournament, because I like to stay present and take every single match at a time. That's the best way to do it, in my opinion.
When you're overconfident, that can turn against you. When you're not confident, can also turn against you.
So looking for that sweet balance is the key for me. It comes with my daily routines. It comes with the feedback that I receive and analysis that I do and the implementation of it on the court in practice, and that's where I know my current state, which right now is at a good level. I need to start playing matches in order to evaluate that in the best possible way.
Q. I'm curious what you think in terms of there just seems to be a lot more players on the men's side, obviously, who really have a chance of winning this championship. For so long it seems like it was one guy's tournament to lose and everything sort of depended on what he did. Given your performance both last year and on clay this season, and Carlos playing so well and Novak obviously the defending champion and having a great week last week, do you feel like this is sort of a wide-open opportunity right now? Not wide open in the sense that anybody can win because they really can't. But that a lot of people have a chance?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: That is indeed true, yes. We have two players in our draw that have won it, I'm not sure one of them how many, but the other at least 28 times, but another one probably three or four, I'm not sure. So of course the stakes are higher on their side. They have had higher success here.
Then we have other guys that are slightly younger and very hungry. I guess me included too. We have someone that has had a great run in the last couple of tournaments that is under 20 years old, and he seems like he plays tennis just because he enjoys the sport. He doesn't play it for the money or for the fame or for any of that. He just enjoys genuinely being on the court and doing his best.
So there is a lot of competition on the men's side, but I think it's equal. I mean, probably not the same for women, but it's something that we haven't seen for sure in a long time.
Q. I have noticed that you are quite active on social media and you are sharing almost philosophical bits. I was just wondering, is this something you pick up in books you read, or is it something that just pops into mind?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Video that I look at, books that I read. There is also an element of mine, of my own way that my brain perceives it, that I try and put into that.
I have done it in the past, that I copy other people's quotes and I haven't really been understanding of the fact that I probably need to put the person's name that have said that, that has said that or quoted that.
But I think it's very important that I have young kids and young audience that follows me, and I want to be kind of like a mentor and maybe like a teacher to them, and obviously share opinions which I think is important.
I have used, let's say, the success that I had in my tennis career that has gave me that opportunity to connect with more people and be followed by a lot of people to exchange those ideas through these platforms.
I think it's very important because there is also just not the tennis element in my life but also that which makes me more of a human than a tennis player. That is what I'm trying to aim with that, trying to be, act like a teacher if I can and help others live better lives.
Q. Looking back, you had the extraordinary run last year to the final, obviously an amazing final against Novak. 12 months on, the dust has settled. How do you reflect on that and what do you take from that, now that it's a year on?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: I had my first practice session after that final a few days ago. Nothing went through my mind, no flashback of that match, which is a good thing, I'm starting fresh.
Obviously it's a shame, losing a final, being two sets to love up, never really has happened before.
He played great. He played better than me. He deserved to win that final. Especially after that two sets to love lead for me. So it's simple. I just need to get better. I just need to have a longer duration of how the way I played in these first two sets, and be up there bringing the fire after every single shot.
Q. There are two tournaments right now. How do you see in general competing the week up to a Grand Slam, pro and cons?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Which ones? The current tournament?
Q. Yeah, yeah.
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: Geneva, Lyon, right?
Q. Yeah, just in general, coming into a Grand Slam, you want to compete the week before or do you prefer just practicing and why?
STEFANOS TSITSIPAS: It is not a bad idea. I think it's good, and it has worked well for some players.
It worked well for me too kind of. I went all the way to the finals the week after, which didn't really seem to be affecting me much, having played so much matches.
In my case, I don't think it would have been very smart to do, especially after playing so many tournaments back to back and going deep in those tournaments. I need some rest a little bit few days before the competition here.
It is smart, in my opinion, if perhaps the Italian Open wouldn't have gone well, yes, I think it would have been a good move to go play in these tournaments, not having played, let's say, enough matches before the competition kicks in here in Paris.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports